Well, isn’t this surprising?
The Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Iskandar, revealed that she actually has Chinese heritage and speaks a bit of Cantonese as well as Hokkien, reported Malay Mail. Wow, amazing!
Her Majesty, the wife of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, shared in an interview with Sin Chew Daily that her lineage goes way back to Guangdong, China. She was quoted as saying,
“I am a Cantonese, I know how to speak a bit of Cantonese, a bit of Hokkien.”
“If I go to China to search for my roots, maybe I can even find the ancestral house, and may also find the fourth-generation descendants, no matter it is Ong or Wong, I confirm that I am a Raja Permaisuri Agong with Chinese lineage.”
Her Majesty originates from the Johor royal family; back in 1885, Sultan Abu Bakar tied the knot with a rich Chinese merchant’s daughter, Wong Ah Gew, who ascended to the throne and was later known as Sultanah Fatimah. The Permaisuri jokingly said,
“She was from a very rich merchant family, it was said they were the rich ones in Singapore, just like that movie Crazy Rich Asians.”
Her Majesty got even more comfortable and treated the interviewer with her fondest childhood memory. She said that her late father Sultan Iskandar used to joke that she was picked up from China. Looks like even the Queen wasn’t spared of these kinds of jokes!
“When I was young, I had a cross-eye issue, when wearing the sharp-angled spectacles like what Lydia Shum wore, I really looked like a Chinese.”
“There was once, because the birth certificate was lost, my father told me ‘We picked you up from a rubbish bin in China, now you lost your birth certificate, we have to chop you up piece by piece, to cook as curry and eat, for you to be reborn.”
HRH said that upon hearing that she had to be cooked and eaten in order to be reborn, she cried uncontrollably because she thought it was actually going to happen. Aww!
Her Majesty was like any other regular kid because she elaborated that she used to get in trouble with her teachers in primary school because she forgot to do her homework. As if she wasn’t relatable enough, she also confessed that she hated mathematics and science subjects when she was in secondary school. Same, Your Majesty, same.
Like any kid, HRH feared for her life whenever she failed the above-mentioned subjects. So to avoid being caned by her father, she would secretly sign her report card and when Sultan Iskandar asked for her report card, she would say: “You already signed it, you just forgot.” Who else did this when they were younger?
If you’re from Kuantan, you’d know that HRH is extremely down to earth and her humility is proven by her friendship with a handphone shop assistant, Keat. The funny story began when the Queen – who was still the consort of Pahang’s crown prince (now: Agong) – was in Plaza Kuantan when Keat shouted Kakak and ran towards her.
The Queen’s friend was mortified as she was caught off-guard, and after HRH purchased a phone from Keat, her friend asked if he knew who just bought a phone from him. Keat, who was still oblivious to the fact that he had done business with royalty, answered that she was simply his customer. HRH happily recalled,
“We laughed, I told Keat, never mind, I like you shouting ‘Kakak’ to call me, next time call me like this.”
Keat, on the other hand, said that the Permaisuri Agong treated him well in contrast to his other horrible famous customers. Nonetheless, the Permaisuri said that Keat has moved to Australia, and he just found out that she has assumed the role of Raja Permaisuri Agong after reading the newspaper.
Following that, she was later asked how she would like Malaysians to call her. She responded that we can call her Kakak, nenek, popo or nana. She suggested,
“Just call me Kakak, if want to call me nenek, popo, nana, also can, everyone also calls me like that, no problem.”
Many persons of royalty often come off as stoic and unreachable, but it’s great to be reminded that despite their status, they are just like us. On that note, we wish the Permaisuri Agong as well as the Agong good luck when they ascend to the throne and take on their new roles.
What’s your favourite part of this interview? Let us know in the comments below!
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